Marijuana dispensaries anticipate opening later this year despite coronavirus

State officials say it’s possible the COVID-19 pandemic could result in delays in Missouri’s medical marijuana program, but representatives of medicinal cannabis dispensaries in Cape Girardeau and Jackson say they expect to be open by this fall as long as they have “product” to sell by then.

“Hopefully, we’ll see some (dispensaries) open in August,” said Lisa Cox, head of public relations with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) in Jefferson City. “I don’t know that we can say that with 100% certainty, but we’re on track so far.”

She said DHSS “remains on track” with its timeline and processes, but “some facilities have reported setbacks to their implementation efforts related to COVID-19.”

Others, she said, report they are on schedule and DHSS is proceeding with verification and certification of cultivation, production, testing, transportation and distribution operations in the state.

“It is too early to say whether COVID-19 will cause significant delays in implementation of the (state’s) medical marijuana industry as a whole,” Cox said, “however, individual circumstances will be considered as deadlines draw nearer.”

According to DHSS regulations, medical marijuana license holders must be operational by this winter.

Locally, plans are moving ahead for dispensaries in the Cape Girardeau and Jackson area.

“Because of COVID, it’s taking a little longer than expected,” said Krystal Wright, contact person for a dispensary planned for Cape Girardeau to be known as Greenlight.

Greenlight, she said, could be open in the next…..

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